Sunday 25 August 2019

Kickstarter: Downtime and Vermillion

I'd like to direct your attention to two ongoing Kickstarter campaigns (and something else):

  1. On Downtime & Demesnes is Courtney Campbell's next book. It contains great advice and procedures for handling downtime activities, as well as multiple ways for PCs to spend their hard-earned cash (which, in most OSR games, is often thousands of gold pieces): arena fights, theft and assassination, orgies and philanthropy, sages, hirelings, mercenaries, spell research, magic item creation, purchasing land, building castles and strongholds, crossbreeding magical creatures and more, with separate releases for B/X and 5E. Disclaimer: I'm a paid copy-editor on the project.
  2. The City of Vermilion is a mega adventure cooked in the magical kitchen of The Merciless Merchants. It describes a sword & sorcery city ripe with adventure potential with multiple locations in, around, under, and above the streets of Vermilion. Disclaimer: I have received a review copy of a different module from the Merchants earlier this year.
  3. Back when their project was on Kickstarter, I was contacted by Knight Owl Games to help promote their Kickstarter for Worm Witch: The Life and Death of Belinda Blood - which I totally meant to talk about here, but then I completely forgot about it... Fortunately, they gathered the necessary funds to make this book a reality, so the least I can do is review it once it hits the virtual shelves of DriveThruRPG.

Thursday 22 August 2019

Review: Vigilante City (Chargen Examples)

I did everything in the order the book explained: (1) rolled and assigned attributes, (2) determined hit points and saving throws, (3) rolled twice on the background table, (4) chose a class, (5) determined starting possessions, (6) wrote down combat stats (here I made a single deviation: by the book, attack bonuses are noted before equipment is finalised).

Thursday 1 August 2019

M&M Session #1 - Isle of the Red Minotaur

"Lanike, the only daughter of King Neokles, has suddenly fallen into a deep magical slumber. Youguys, brave and foolhardy and expendable heroes, have been tasked with finding Xenon the Sage, currently imprisoned on the Isle of the Red Minotaur out of divine punishment. Captain Boros and his crew of thirteen are ordered to take you to the island, wait until your return, and sail towards wherever the magical cure is according to Xenon." - my verbatim introduction to the players

The party:
  • Kitipos son of Karipos, Noble 1
  • Orion, Spearman 1

Arriving at the rocky island, the party wagered 20sp each against a total of 100 of the crew that they would bring back the Red Minotaur's horns.

Following a trail inland they heard a melancholy tune. Orion decided to play harmony, and soon they met the source of the music: a childlike spirit of fortune and prosperity. He shared a lot of information about the island, and tasked the adventurers with retrieving his cornucopia from a pair of mischievous lemures.

The duo advanced forth, literally cutting their way in the forest, when suddenly vines of malicious intent grabbed Kitipos. The plant-creature was quickly dispatched, and the adventurers marched on.

They arrived at a log, inside from which they heard laughter. With their fierce looks and powerful words they pressed the lemures into handing over the cornucopia, which they then returned to the good spirit, who gave them a flask of oil that would protect them from the Red Minotaur. They feasted and rested, and in the morning they headed towards the Ursid village.

The bearmen were skeptical of the adventurers' plan to rid them of both the minotaur and the griffin, but nonetheless they gave them two goats, and the old Murbo concocted a sleeping drought.

The duo applied the sleeping potion to the goats' skin and headed towards the minotaur's cave. On their way they discovered a scorched grove of trees, one of them, beneath a thick layer of ash, appearing calcified.

They lured the minotaur's pet bicephalous dogs out, who quickly fell asleep as they ate from the poisoned goats. With but a thrust the adventurers executed the slumbering creatures.

Soon the minotaur became agitated as its dogs weren't responding. The adventurers barely had enough time to apply the oil to their bodies and dress themselves in armour - the minotaur came charging. Its fiery breath indeed proved ineffective against the ointed skin of Kitipos and Orion, and withing a minute they decapitated the Red Minotaur.

They took its Girdle of Strength and Bridle of Taming, skinned the dogs, and cut the minotaur's horns. When they returned, the Ursids rejoiced.

Then Kitipos put on a goat's skin to lure the hunting griffin close enough to Orion to put force on the bridle. The griffin did show up, Kitipos escaped its claws, but Orion only managed to jump on its back. With both adventurers hanging onto the creature, the griffin flew away, trying to run poor Kitipos into a cliff or treetop. Fortunately Orion was soon able to put on the bridle.

Once they both climbed on its back, they flew towards the tower where Xenon was kept prisoner. The landed on a balcony and entered. They saw broken mirrors and an emaciated man of unkempt hair and with empty eye sockets.

Xenon regaled his tale of tragic love: the dryad he fell in love with now dead because she chose a mortal, and himself imprisoned and unable to die or leave. Upon mentioning the calcified remains of the woman-shaped tree, Xenon realised there still might be a chance.

The adventurers were directed towards an island where the Temple of Doom is built on top of many springs where waters from the Underworld enter the mortal realms. In exchange for a flask of such water, Xenon would tell them about the cure to wake the sleeping Lanike.

And so, they set the fast Okeai's sail towards the Temple of Doom - with a bridled griffin on board, nonetheless!

Referee's note: A session of three hours, including character generation and a generous amount of joking around. I slightly tweaked the number of enemies (as I was originally expecting four players), but even starting characters are fairly strong anyways. Healing is very slow, however, so the lack of a magician (and thus access to curative or area-of-effect spells) might become a problem later.